Wednesday 20 March 2013

Press Statement of Save Malaysia Stop Lynas on 20th March 2013

Press statement of Save Malaysia Stop Lynas (SMSL)
Lynas latest Spin is an Act of Desperation

March20, 2013

The erroneous statement issued by Lynas Corporation on Monday 18th March that SMSL has now exhausted all avenues of appeal to challenge its temporary operating licence (TOL) grossly distorted the truth. Lynas posted the statement on its website

following the dismissal of the case brought about by the Stop Lynas Coalition (SLC) on Monday. SMSL is NOT a party to the SLC case and our legal team is still in the midst of preparing for further legal challenges.

SMSL spokesperson Mr Tan Bun Teet says, “Lynas’ statement is legally and factually incorrect. It goes to show how desperate Lynas is to the point of distorting the truth of its legal challenges in Malaysia. There are several Stop Lynas groups fighting the same cause for strategic reason. It is irresponsible of Lynas to have so grossly misrepresented the fact and misinformed the market to distract its shareholders and investors’ attention from the plant’s real problems and challenges in Malaysia.”

Mr Tan is one of the Kuantan residents who has filed a judicial review case in the court based on issues identified by legal, scientific and engineering experts to revoke the Lynas temporary operating licence (TOL). Lynas shares value shot up briefly following its erroneous announcement, crossing its long-held low 60c margin before settling back to 59c at the close of yesterday’s stock market.

The legal avenue available to challenge the Lynas TOL is far from exhausted. Cases are still being prepared. The general election which is overdue in Malaysia is now a strong campaigning point for the Stop Lynas groups. Efforts are now being put into getting voters to cast their votes for candidates who have pledged to shut down the Lynas plant.

Haji Ismail Abu Bakar another case applicant lamented, “Lately residents are outraged because their water supplies have been cut off unannounced and the water pressure at peak time has been exceedingly low. We know Lynas will be using a lot of water for its processing. We have never had these problems until recently. This coming election the Stop Lynas campaign will go all out to get voters to use their democratic right to shut down the plant.”

Malaysian environmental law is over 20 years out of date with no reference or limits for many of the toxic substances soon to be produced by the Lynas plant despite the bitter and tragic lessons from the now closed Mitsubishi rare earth plant in Bukit Merah. The Atomic Energy Licensing Board has failed the Bukit Merah people and it is now failing the people of Kuantan by issuing Lynas its TOL.

By issuing Lynas its temporary operating licence, the Government has failed in its duty of care to regulate Lynas and to protect the rakyat and Malaysia’s natural resources from dangerous hazards and pollution.

“The public has donated generously to give SMSL adequate resources to fight until the end to shut down the Lynas plant. We will pursue every single legal avenue available out there and campaign in every possible way to vote to shut Lynas down. Our future is too precious to be ruined by a profit-seeking foreign company that pays no tax.” Mr Tan reiterates the stance of SMSL.

Friday 8 March 2013

Lynas’ Appeal in Defamation Case Dismissed with RM20K costs

Save Malaysia! Stop Lynas! Press statement

March 8th, 2013

This morning, three judges unanimously dismissed Lynas' appeal with costs of RM20,000.00 in its defamation proceeding against SMSL. Last July, Lynas failed in its attempt to gag SMSL through an injunction application. Lynas alleged that an open letter issued by SMSL which was endorsed by close to 50 civil society organisations to the Prime Minister was defamatory. Subsequently, SMSL lawyer succeeded in getting the court to transfer the case to be heard in Kuantan which led to the Lynas appeal.

Mr Tan Bun Teet, a spokesperson for SMSL, a Kuantan resident and a defendant named in the defamation suit said “In the first place, by taking up a defamation action against a citizen group such as SMSL, Lynas’ is showing itself up the kind of corporation it really is. We raise issues concerning the Lynas rare earth project with our Prime Minister because we are concerned for our family and our future. Lynas would not be able to sue us this way in Australia and yet it is taking advantage of Malaysia’ weak civil rights law to try to gag us.”

The judges ruled that the High Court judge was correct in deciding to transfer the case to the Kuantan High Court because it is an appropriate forum for the case. The Judges were:-
Justice Hishammuddin Yunus
Justice Abd Aziz Rahim, and
Justice Mohd Ariff Yusof

Haji Ismail Abu Bakar, another defendant named in the Lynas suit and a Kuantan resident explained, “I speak out because many rakyat (citizens) who will be directly and most immediately affected by Lynas’ pollution are at no liberty to speak out or to voice their concerns. They may lose their livelihoods and our health may suffer severely. We have never been consulted about this project. Lynas’ gag action only strengthened my determination to keep fighting.”

In January, reputable Germany’s Oeko Institute released a detailed scientific evaluation of the Malaysian Lynas rare earth refinery plant and found several very serious deficiencies which should have been identified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Malaysian regulators the Department of Environment and the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB). Instead, approval was given to the project and an operating licence issued which will lead to dire consequences to the local community and future generations:

“These agencies which are supposedly set up to protect the public and the environment have failed us. We the affected citizens have no choice but to pick up the pieces and to fight for our future through legitimate means and way. We have said it many times, we will fight till the end to Stop Lynas.” Concluded Mr Tan.

Thursday 7 March 2013

Latest Update from Save Malaysia Stop Lynas (SMSL)

Latest update from Court Of Appeal in Putrajaya

Today's case at the Putrajaya is about Lynas's appeal to keep the defamation case in KL court and here is the outcome brief by SMSL lawyers:

The Court of Appeal this morning unanimously dismissed LYNAS' appeal with costs of RM20,000.00 and ruled that the High Court judge was correct in deciding to transfer the case to the Kuantan High Court. The Court of Appeal was of the view that the forum conveniens (most appropriate forum) to hear the defamation suit is the Kuantan High Court.

It is the second time that we get awarded costs by the Malaysian courts:

Once when we won the case on Lynas application to shut us up. We got RM 5,000

Today we won another round at the appellate court and this time round we got RM20,000